Charcoal Dong DingFloating Leaves Tea
We love this tea. It is roasted by Charcoal Roast Master Zhan. Drinking his tea and learning from him inspired us to film a documentary. He is a living treasure of Taiwanese tea culture and a very wise man. The name he gave this tea is "The Twittering Mountain Spring".
When roasting Charcoal Dong Ding, Zhan finds a traditional style Dong Ding (like this one). Zhan's approach to roasting is both sensitive and spontaneous, following the natural inclinations of both the tea and the charcoal fire. This tea usually undergoes an amply heavy roast, but it is not roasted to add the superficial flavor of charcoal. The effect is that the tea is rearranged to tie up loose ends and tell a more complex story. Tea that he finishes becomes clearer, softer and deeper.
I drank this tea every day (sometimes twice a day) while I was in quarantine in Taiwan. Which makes it hard to write about, because I'm so familiar with it it's difficult to take a step back and describe the general feeling. But here goes :
Charcoal roast permeates the flavor of this tea, which is something I've come to expect from our teacher. It's not a blackened heavy roast at all, but the aroma of clean freshly burning charcoal is in there. Other notes of Dong Ding fruit and herbal aroma are well balanced, and the mineral texture of the tea coats the mouth and throat easily.
Throat is big and warm, and without stopping the broth slides down into the body with a warmth and power that feels good. But do be sure not to drink it on an empty stomach, I did that a couple times and was reminded it IS a strong tea.
When I close my eyes, I can imagine sloping jungle-green hills and water bubbling over flat river rocks. Not saying you're going to see that too, but if you drink it in a room by yourself for 15 days straight, then maybe you will ;)
Another great oolong from our teacher that is worthy of serious contemplation. Highly recommended!
- Harvest Location : Dong Ding, Nantou, Taiwan
- Final Roasting Date : October, 2020
- Farming : Unsprayed
- Cultivar : Soft Stem [Ruan Zhi]